May 7th, 2009
04:26 PM ET
9 years ago

Republicans rip Obama for insufficient budget cuts

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican congressional leaders tore into President Barack Obama's proposed 2010 budget Thursday, arguing that his spending cuts will do little to stem a rising tide of red ink.

The White House released details earlier in the day outlining $17 billion in cuts from 121 federal programs. The total savings amounts to roughly 0.5 percent of the more than $3.5 trillion in spending approved for next year, or 1.2 percent of next year's projected $1.4 trillion deficit if the president's overall budget is adopted.

"With Democrats in Congress adding to the national debt at the rate of more than $100 billion every month already this year and with a budget that triples the already unsustainable public debt over the next decade, it is clear that there is not much more that we can do to protect our children and grandchildren from the unprecedented trillions in additional debt proposed by this administration," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on the Senate floor.

New Hampshire GOP Sen. Judd Gregg, who withdrew as Obama's commerce secretary-designate earlier this year, also criticized the cuts as minuscule in the face of current spending and deficit projections.

"It's as if this were the Gobi Desert or the Sahara Desert and you came along and you took a few pieces of sand," Gregg said.

It "will have virtually no impact on the deficit and the debt as we move forward ... because of the fact that while (they) are taking these few dollars out ... they are adding back in massive amounts of spending."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, argued that Obama's proposed cuts are identical to cuts previously proposed by former President George W. Bush and rejected by the Democratic-controlled Congress. He also said House Republicans are working on their own package of proposed spending reductions.

"Over the next couple of weeks, you'll have a chance to see what real budget cuts look like," he said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

Boehner refused to indicate exactly how much money House Republicans want to cut, but his spokesman said the House GOP leadership would release its list of recommendations for cuts before Memorial Day.

Democratic congressional leaders replied by noting that Obama's proposed cuts were only the start of a long budget review process. They also noted that Obama had inherited a poor financial situation from his predecessor.

"I have asked House committee chairs to search out areas of possible savings in the departments, agencies, and program under their jurisdiction," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a written statement.

"House committees have already conducted 163 hearings, which will help inform our efforts as we review the president's proposed budget cuts and work with the administration to achieve additional savings."

Pelosi added that "the legacy of fiscal recklessness inherited by President Obama and the Congress will make our task more difficult, but we are prepared to make the difficult choices that are required to restore fiscal responsibility and strengthen our economy for the long-term."

House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-South Carolina, said that "while the Congress is unlikely to agree with all the changes proposed by the administration, the process and the resulting proposals are a step in the right direction, and a sign of fiscal discipline."

Roughly $11.5 billion of Obama's proposed savings would come from the discretionary side of the fiscal 2010 budget - that is, for programs whose funding is not automatic. And roughly half of the savings would come from non-defense programs, a senior administration official said in a briefing call with reporters on Wednesday.

– CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.

Updated: 4:26 pm

Filed under: Budget • Republicans
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. tony

    President Obama;

    There is also an impatience that characterizes this town – an attention span that has only grown shorter with the twenty-four hour news cycle, and insists on instant gratification in the form of immediate results or higher poll numbers. When a crisis hits, there’s all too often a lurch from shock to trance, with everyone responding to the tempest of the moment until the furor has died away and the media coverage has moved on, instead of confronting the major challenges that will shape our future in a sustained and focused way.

    Line By Line, Bit By Bit. Relax Folk.

    May 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Rob Johnson

    Maybe I missed something, but I never heard Obama say these were the ONLY cuts, just the beginning.

    God, how impatient some people are! You don't come into a mess like this and fix it in 3 months, folks.

    May 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Chad

    Are they kidding? Do they have collective amnesia? Federal spending and congressional earmarks reached their highest levels in our history under a republican congress and president. Now they want to be fiscal conservative? Really?

    May 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Once upon a horse

    GOP head Rush Limbaugh said the other day that HE did not feel the pain of a recession, lost no money nor listeners, and got a big hand clap from his ditto head crowd. And then the Republicans, who seem to cater to this guy's every whim have the gall to talk about cuts and spending. What happen to the alternative budget that Cantor and company claimed they were going to present a few weeks back? I'm guessing all it included was more tax cuts for rich folks like Rush and hope it all tickles down. Well tell that to the many employees of Rush's company that were fired or laid-off.

    May 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Michael

    1. Republicans rip Obama for no budget cuts.
    2. Republicans rip Obama for insufficient budget cuts.
    3. Republicans rip Obama for large budget cuts.
    4. Republicans rip Obama for excessive budget cuts.
    5. Republicans rip Obama for having a budget.
    6. Republicans disband; the remaining faithful get hopped up on prescription meds and follow Rush Limbaugh into the wilderness in search of the Promised Land. Several are mistaken for wolves and shot from a helicopter by Sarah Palin.

    May 7, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Independent

    So what else is new, the party of NO complaining again....Is this under Rush's advise to do so?????

    May 7, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. tony

    How Do You Eat An Elephant?

    One Bite at a Time.

    I Believe President Obama Said He Will Go Line By Line, To Look For Cuts!

    May 7, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Charles

    I love how most of these comments say, "The Republicans always complain about the Dems no matter what..."

    Does anyone actually read the articles, or do you read the headline and comment? Think rationally about where your money is going the arguments for/against these policies. If the Republicans are complaining, what were the Democrats doing for the 8-previous years? The country was doing well financially and security-wise until 2006/2007. The only big thing I remember happening during those 2 years was Democrats taking over Congress...go figure.

    The only people who should like these policies/economics are those who don't have jobs (which in a few years will be more people than today) b/c you don't have to anything but collect the money I'm giving you for your home, food, whatever other welfare I pay for for you being lazy.

    May 7, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Curtis in WI

    Why are they assuming these are the only cuts he plans to make? He never said that.

    Oh, wait, they think he is the antichrist.

    May 7, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. The Other Michael in Houston

    Quick2822 amen to that. I mean what is Obama supposed to do, nothing? Then you'd be crying about that. And when di the Republicans all of sudden become fiscally conserative.

    May 7, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. dace

    Oh yes the GOP that created more spending than all previous administrations combined (even bigger than the previous record holder Reagan)- the largest deficit in world history – and ruined the US and Global economy when they were given a surplus!

    May 7, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Joe - Chicago

    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Why not be happy that the president is making a start of clearing the budget mess? Bush built this mountain in eight years, its going to take awhile to move it.

    May 7, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. susanj

    The GOP is just digging their own graves. People are sick of their negative reactions and words to everything this wonderful President is trying to do. They just don't get it and they never will. The GOP is no longer a relevant political party. Just a bunch of whiners and religious zealots.

    May 7, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. CindyLouWho

    Republicans rip about everything. What's new?

    May 7, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Remi Murphy (Tracy CA)

    Rushlicans are at the tipping point...recalibrate or bust.

    May 7, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Lolbama

    Love Obama's sheople responses. Party of no? When did the reps say no during the last 8 years? Sheople this is called hypocrisy. Does anyone think anything offered by republicans would be taken seriously by this adminstration or congress...put down the pipes folks and say to yourself "I voted for Obama" and realize you are supposed to have consciousness. Alas, you'll revert to your political tourrette's and blurt out "It's Bush's fault for everything we don't like". "Bush spent like a drunken sailor". What exactly has Obama done spendingwise?? Say it again...hiiipaaahhhkriiiissy for those who need to see it phonetically.

    Apparently the shiny object called a "17 billion dollar cut" has successfully diverted the sheoples' attention and the voice of the man who raised his hand and lifted a nation has successfully lulled you back to grazing on the koolaid-laden grass.

    May 7, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. D. Tree

    Just leave it to the GOP to complain about saving 17 billion dollars as if that's not a lot of money.

    These guys will criticize *anything* President Obama does, no matter how good.

    And they always promise to come up with better ideas, which always turn out to be the same lame old ideas.

    May 7, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Gernab

    The Republicans would be better off if they went along with some of the Dems programs and suggestionsrather than opposing everything. They do not appear to be trying to help in any area: health care, banking crisis, mortgage crisis, auto manufacturing crisis, unemployment, foreign policy. They only reinforce the impression – no, fact – that they are the party of "No!."

    May 7, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Steve J, Michigan

    Its funny to have Repubs/conservs say how ignorant the voters are that voted for Obama. Mind you these are probably the same people who voted for 8 yrs of Bush and who claim Bush kept us safe for 8 yrs.. If I was Obama I'd start with cutting all Repub. earmarks.


    May 7, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Chris in MI

    Republicans make me ill! This president is trying to do at least SOMETHING about the waste that goes on in government. You guys offer NOTHING but hot air. Keep it up. You're making it so easy for 2012.

    May 7, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. John from California

    Same old bull from the republicans with all of the same excuses and distortions.

    It was the republicans that took a $3 trillion dollar surplus 8 years ago and gave it away to the rich republicans.

    It was the republicans that started a war of choice in Iraq to get oil for rich republicans.

    It was republicans that wasted trillions on frivolous defense systems designed to fight the last world war to the benefit of rich republicans.

    Now we have the republicans who created this current economic depression wanting to cut spending that is meant to help middle class Americans.

    It's no wonder that only 21% state that they are republicans and it will be no surprise when that percentage shrinks further.

    It is high time that the right wing media stop peddling this republican propaganda.

    May 7, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Dave in Albuquerque

    The president announces tax cuts, and they complain? I do hope the GOP finds its way out of its current death spiral because this country needs an intelligent, effective political opposition, but meanwhile, the clueless, knee-jerk reactions continue.

    May 7, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Steph

    I like how the republicans are excitedly exercising their newly found fiscal conservatism. So cute...

    May 7, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    This just proves these people will whine about anything. They will obstruct Obama no matter what he tries to do. I hope Obama quits trying to appease them, it is a waste of time.

    May 7, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Melissa

    What the hell is wrong with these people? Nothing is ever good enough for them. They all want it right this second. Childish.

    May 7, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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